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Tyre tests: Pirelli to quit?

2013-10-28 07:28

F1 TYREMAKER THREATENS TO QUIT: Pirelli, F1's only contracted tyremaker, has threatened to quit if it cannot test its rubber on the 2014 turbo V6 race cars. Image: AFP

GREATER NOIDA, India - Tyremaker Pirelli has warned it may be forced to quit Formula 1 if it is not given enough time to test its tyres before new engines are introduced for the 2014 season, reports said.

Paul Hembery, motorsport director of Formula 1's official supplier, said Pirelli wouldn't be able to provide tyres if there were no tests before the end of 2013. The Italian manufacturer wants to try out the tyres before cars roll out with their new turbocharged V6 engine, ordered in a shake-up of specifications, in official testing late January in Spain.

TEST 'A LONG SHOT'

"It (testing) must be able to run before the end of the year otherwise we cannot make the tyres in time for the first test at Jerez," Hembery told reporters at the 2013 Indian GP. "We have to do some testing, if we can't then we'll not be able to provide the tyres."

Hembery said discussions had started towards finding a solution but he admitted that a pre-Christmas test was a long shot. "Clearly we would love to have a 2014 car in December - that's what we'd really like. If you asked me what we really need, that's what we really need. We can't have that."

Pirelli's tyres have been criticised for being too fragile, especially early in the 2013 season, after rapid disintegration and several blow-outs, but motorsports governing body recently announced Pirelli would continue in the sport beyond 2013 though no contract has been signed.

French tyre giant Michelin has also indicated it is interested in returning to F1 but it may be too late for it to step in time for 2014 should Pirelli pull out.

The final race of the year will be in Brazil in late November, limiting the testing window.
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